Fans of the 1997 sci-fi cult favorite Starship Troopers can enjoy more soldiers-versus-giant bug mayhem today with the home video release of Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation. The film debuted last month on the Starz cable network and is now packaged to own with a host of extra fetures.
Director Paul Verhoven’s original Troopers cost a whopping $105 million but only grossed $54.8 million domestically. Naturally, no studio was chomping at the bit to gamble on a big-screen follow-up, but what we get here is a worthy, albeit low-budget, addition to the story. The $6 million sequel was directed by visual effects legend Phil Tippett, who provided creature effects for the original Troopers, as well as genre classics Star Wars, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Robocop I & II, Dragonslayer and Jurassic Park.
Hero of the Federation retains some of the tongue-in-cheek WWII newsreel elements of the first film but plays more like Zulu and takes a turn into the horror realm with echoes of Alien. Kelly Carlson, Ed Lauter, Richard Burgi, Sandrine Holt star as members of a squad of Federation soldiers holed up in an abandoned outpost in the bug quarantine zone on Planet P. In addition to the hordes of overgrown arachnids surrounding them on all sides, our heroes have to deal with a new insect threat that really gets under their skin.
The DVD features commentary by Tippett, writer Ed Neumeier (Robocop, Robocop 2, Starship Troopers) and producer Jon Davison (Robocop, Robocop 2, Starship Troopers). Other extras include a visual effects featurette titled From Green Screen to Silver Screen, a making-of featurette titled Inside the Federation and a photo gallery. The Columbia TriStar release retails for $24.96. Read Phil Tippet’s insights on the making of the film in the July issue of Animation Magazine.
Also arriving on video shelves today are two DVD versions of Sony’s 2002 superhero blockbuster. Spider-Man Deluxe Edition is a three-disc release featuring commentary by director Sam Raimi, star Kirsten Dunst, producer Laura Ziskin and co-producer Grant Curtis; vfx commentary by special effects designer John Dykstra and crew; pop-up factoids; branching webisodes; music videos; DVD ROM extras; an HBO making-of special, an E! Entertainment special; director and composer profiles; screen tests; costume and makeup tests; a gag/outtake reel; comic archives; a Spider-Man 2 sneak peek and trailer; and two playable levels of Activision’s Spider-Man 2 video game. It lists for $24.95. Columbia TriStar has also released Spider-Man Superbit Edition, featuring commentary by stars Tobey Maguire and J.K. Simmons and a Movie Money coupon good for admission to Spider-Man 2. The disc retails for $26.96.
Toon fans can also pick up Spongebob Squarepants: Spongeguard On Duty, featuring eight episodes of the popular Nickelodeon series. Included are storyboards for the installments "SpongeGuard on Duty" and "Clams." Also from Paramount and Nickelodeon comes Dora the Explorer’s Super Silly Fiesta. The DVD presentation features two bonus episodes and Dora’s Super Silly Search Game.